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8 Research products

  • European Marine Science
  • 2014-2023
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  • Biogeosciences (BG)
  • European Marine Science

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  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Steinacher, M.; Joos, F.; Frölicher, T. L.; Bopp, L.; +8 Authors

    Changes in marine net primary productivity (PP) and export of particulate organic carbon (EP) are projected over the 21st century with four global coupled carbon cycle-climate models. These include representations of marine ecosystems and the carbon cycle of different structure and complexity. All four models show a decrease in global mean PP and EP between 2 and 20% by 2100 relative to preindustrial conditions, for the SRES A2 emission scenario. Two different regimes for productivity changes are consistently identified in all models. The first chain of mechanisms is dominant in the low- and mid-latitude ocean and in the North Atlantic: reduced input of macro-nutrients into the euphotic zone related to enhanced stratification, reduced mixed layer depth, and slowed circulation causes a decrease in macro-nutrient concentrations and in PP and EP. The second regime is projected for parts of the Southern Ocean: an alleviation of light and/or temperature limitation leads to an increase in PP and EP as productivity is fueled by a sustained nutrient input. A region of disagreement among the models is the Arctic, where three models project an increase in PP while one model projects a decrease. Projected changes in seasonal and interannual variability are modest in most regions. Regional model skill metrics are proposed to generate multi-model mean fields that show an improved skill in representing observation-based estimates compared to a simple multi-model average. Model results are compared to recent productivity projections with three different algorithms, usually applied to infer net primary production from satellite observations.

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    Authors: Turi, G.; Lachkar, Z.; Gruber, N.;

    We quantify the CO2 source/sink nature of the California Current System (CalCS) and determine the drivers and processes behind the mean and spatiotemporal variability of the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) in the surface ocean. To this end, we analyze eddy-resolving, climatological simulations of a coupled physical–biogeochemical oceanic model on the basis of the Regional Oceanic Modeling System (ROMS). In the annual mean, the entire CalCS within 800 km of the coast and from ∼33° N to 46° N is essentially neutral with regard to atmospheric CO2: the model simulates an integrated uptake flux of −0.9 ± 3.6 Tg C yr−1, corresponding to an average flux density of −0.05 ± 0.20 mol C m−2 yr−1. This near zero flux is a consequence of an almost complete regional compensation between (i) strong outgassing in the nearshore region (first 100 km) that brings waters with high concentrations of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) to the surface and (ii) and a weaker, but more widespread uptake flux in the offshore region due to an intense biological reduction of this DIC, driven by the nutrients that are upwelled together with the DIC. The air–sea CO2 fluxes vary substantially in time, both on seasonal and sub-seasonal timescales, largely driven by variations in surface ocean pCO2. Most of the variability in pCO2 is associated with the seasonal cycle, with the exception of the nearshore region, where sub-seasonal variations driven by mesoscale processes dominate. In the regions offshore of 100 km, changes in surface temperature are the main driver, while in the nearshore region, changes in surface temperature, as well as anomalies in DIC and alkalinity (Alk) owing to changes in circulation, biological productivity and air–sea CO2 fluxes dominate. The prevalence of eddy-driven variability in the nearshore 100 km leads to a complex spatiotemporal mosaic of surface ocean pCO2 and air–sea CO2 fluxes that require a substantial observational effort to determine the source/sink nature of this region reliably.

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    Authors: Friedrich, J.; Janssen, F.; Aleynik, D.; Bange, H. W.; +35 Authors

    In this paper we provide an overview of new knowledge on oxygen depletion (hypoxia) and related phenomena in aquatic systems resulting from the EU-FP7 project HYPOX ("In situ monitoring of oxygen depletion in hypoxic ecosystems of coastal and open seas, and landlocked water bodies", http://www.hypox.net). In view of the anticipated oxygen loss in aquatic systems due to eutrophication and climate change, HYPOX was set up to improve capacities to monitor hypoxia as well as to understand its causes and consequences. Temporal dynamics and spatial patterns of hypoxia were analyzed in field studies in various aquatic environments, including the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, Scottish and Scandinavian fjords, Ionian Sea lagoons and embayments, and Swiss lakes. Examples of episodic and rapid (hours) occurrences of hypoxia, as well as seasonal changes in bottom-water oxygenation in stratified systems, are discussed. Geologically driven hypoxia caused by gas seepage is demonstrated. Using novel technologies, temporal and spatial patterns of water-column oxygenation, from basin-scale seasonal patterns to meter-scale sub-micromolar oxygen distributions, were resolved. Existing multidecadal monitoring data were used to demonstrate the imprint of climate change and eutrophication on long-term oxygen distributions. Organic and inorganic proxies were used to extend investigations on past oxygen conditions to centennial and even longer timescales that cannot be resolved by monitoring. The effects of hypoxia on faunal communities and biogeochemical processes were also addressed in the project. An investigation of benthic fauna is presented as an example of hypoxia-devastated benthic communities that slowly recover upon a reduction in eutrophication in a system where naturally occurring hypoxia overlaps with anthropogenic hypoxia. Biogeochemical investigations reveal that oxygen intrusions have a strong effect on the microbially mediated redox cycling of elements. Observations and modeling studies of the sediments demonstrate the effect of seasonally changing oxygen conditions on benthic mineralization pathways and fluxes. Data quality and access are crucial in hypoxia research. Technical issues are therefore also addressed, including the availability of suitable sensor technology to resolve the gradual changes in bottom-water oxygen in marine systems that can be expected as a result of climate change. Using cabled observatories as examples, we show how the benefit of continuous oxygen monitoring can be maximized by adopting proper quality control. Finally, we discuss strategies for state-of-the-art data archiving and dissemination in compliance with global standards, and how ocean observations can contribute to global earth observation attempts.

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    Authors: Heinze, Christoph; Ilyina, Tatiana; Gehlen, Marion;

    Concentrations of dissolved 230Th in the ocean water column increase with depth due to scavenging and downward particle flux. Due to the 230Th scavenging process, any change in the calcium carbonate (CaCO3) fraction of the marine particle flux due to changes in biological CaCO3 hard-shell production as a consequence of progressing ocean acidification would be reflected in the dissolved 230Th activity. Our prognostic simulations with a biogeochemical ocean general circulation model using different scenarios for the reduction of CaCO3 production under ocean acidification and different greenhouse gas emission scenarios – the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 8.5 to 2.6 – reveal the potential for deep 230Th measurements to detect reduced CaCO3 production at the sea surface. The time of emergence of an acidification-induced signal on dissolved 230Th is of the same order of magnitude as for alkalinity measurements. Interannual and decadal variability in factors other than a reduction in CaCO3 hard-shell production may mask the ocean-acidification-induced signal in dissolved 230Th and make detection of the pure CaCO3-induced signal more difficult so that only really strong changes in marine CaCO3 export would be unambiguously identifiable soon. Nevertheless, the impacts of changes in CaCO3 export production on marine 230Th are stronger than those for changes in POC (particulate organic carbon) or clay fluxes.

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    Authors: Yara, Y.; Vogt, M.; Fujii, M.; Yamano, H.; +4 Authors

    Using results from four coupled global carbon cycle-climate models combined with in situ observations, we estimate the effects of future global warming and ocean acidification on potential habitats for tropical/subtropical and temperate coral communities in the seas around Japan. The suitability of coral habitats is classified on the basis of the currently observed regional ranges for temperature and saturation states with regard to aragonite (Ωarag). We find that, under the "business as usual" SRES A2 scenario, coral habitats are projected to expand northward by several hundred kilometers by the end of this century. At the same time, coral habitats are projected to become sandwiched between regions where the frequency of coral bleaching will increase, and regions where Ωarag will become too low to support sufficiently high calcification rates. As a result, the habitat suitable for tropical/subtropical corals around Japan may be reduced by half by the 2020s to 2030s, and is projected to disappear by the 2030s to 2040s. The habitat suitable for the temperate coral communities is also projected to decrease, although at a less pronounced rate, due to the higher tolerance of temperate corals for low Ωarag. Our study has two important caveats: first, it does not consider the potential adaptation of the coral communities, which would permit them to colonize habitats that are outside their current range. Second, it also does not consider whether or not coral communities can migrate quickly enough to actually occupy newly emerging habitats. As such, our results serve as a baseline for the assessment of the future evolution of coral habitats, but the consideration of important biological and ecological factors and feedbacks will be required to make more accurate projections.

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    Authors: Helmond, Niels A. G. M.; Robertson, Elizabeth K.; Conley, Daniel J.; Hermans, Martijn; +4 Authors

    Coastal systems can act as filters for anthropogenic nutrient input into marine environments. Here, we assess the processes controlling the removal of phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) for four sites in the eutrophic Stockholm archipelago. Bottom water concentrations of oxygen (O2) and P are inversely correlated. This is attributed to the seasonal release of P from iron-oxide-bound (Fe-oxide-bound) P in surface sediments and from degrading organic matter. The abundant presence of sulfide in the pore water and its high upward flux towards the sediment surface (∼4 to 8 mmol m−2 d−1), linked to prior deposition of organic-rich sediments in a low-O2 setting (“legacy of hypoxia”), hinder the formation of a larger Fe-oxide-bound P pool in winter. This is most pronounced at sites where water column mixing is naturally relatively low and where low bottom water O2 concentrations prevail in summer. Burial rates of P are high at all sites (0.03–0.3 mol m−2 yr−1), a combined result of high sedimentation rates (0.5 to 3.5 cm yr−1) and high sedimentary P at depth (∼30 to 50 µmol g−1). Sedimentary P is dominated by Fe-bound P and organic P at the sediment surface and by organic P, authigenic Ca-P and detrital P at depth. Apart from one site in the inner archipelago, where a vivianite-type Fe(II)-P mineral is likely present at depth, there is little evidence for sink switching of organic or Fe-oxide-bound P to authigenic P minerals. Denitrification is the major benthic nitrate-reducing process at all sites (0.09 to 1.7 mmol m−2 d−1) with rates decreasing seaward from the inner to outer archipelago. Our results explain how sediments in this eutrophic coastal system can remove P through burial at a relatively high rate, regardless of whether the bottom waters are oxic or (frequently) hypoxic. Our results suggest that benthic N processes undergo annual cycles of removal and recycling in response to hypoxic conditions. Further nutrient load reductions are expected to contribute to the recovery of the eutrophic Stockholm archipelago from hypoxia. Based on the dominant pathways of P and N removal identified in this study, it is expected that the sediments will continue to remove part of the P and N loads.

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    Authors: Naeher Sebastian; Geraga Maria; Papatheodorou George; Ferentinos George; +2 Authors

    The evolution of environmental changes during the last decades and the impact on the living biomass in the western part of Amvrakikos Gulf was investigated using abundances and species distributions of benthic foraminifera and lipid biomarker concentrations. These proxies indicated that the gulf has markedly changed due to eutrophication. Eutrophication has led to a higher productivity, a higher bacterial biomass, shifts towards opportunistic and tolerant benthic foraminifera species (e.g. Bulimina elongata, Nonionella turgida, Textularia agglutinans, Ammonia tepida) and a lower benthic species density. Close to the Preveza Strait (connection between the gulf and the Ionian Sea), the benthic assemblages were more diversified under more oxygenated conditions. Sea grass meadows largely contributed to the organic matter at this sampling site. The occurrence of isorenieratane, chlorobactane and lycopane supported by oxygen monitoring data indicated that anoxic (and partly euxinic) conditions prevailed seasonally throughout the western part of the gulf with more severe oxygen depletion towards the east. Increased surface water temperatures have led to a higher stratification, which reduced oxygen resupply to bottom waters. Altogether, these developments led to mass mortality events and ecosystem decline in Amvrakikos Gulf.

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    Authors: Artioli, Y.; Blackford, J. C.; Nondal, G.; Bellerby, R. G. J.; +4 Authors

    The increase in atmospheric CO2 is a dual threat to the marine environment: from one side it drives climate change, leading to modifications in water temperature, circulation patterns and stratification intensity; on the other side it causes a decrease in marine pH (ocean acidification, or OA) due to the increase in dissolved CO2. Assessing the combined impact of climate change and OA on marine ecosystems is a challenging task. The response of the ecosystem to a single driver can be highly variable and remains still uncertain; additionally the interaction between these can be either synergistic or antagonistic. In this work we use the coupled oceanographic–ecosystem model POLCOMS-ERSEM driven by climate forcing to study the interaction between climate change and OA. We focus in particular on carbonate chemistry, primary and secondary production. The model has been run in three different configurations in order to assess separately the impacts of climate change on net primary production and of OA on the carbonate chemistry, which have been strongly supported by scientific literature, from the impact of biological feedbacks of OA on the ecosystem, whose uncertainty still has to be well constrained. The global mean of the projected decrease of pH at the end of the century is about 0.27 pH units, but the model shows significant interaction among the drivers and high variability in the temporal and spatial response. As a result of this high variability, critical tipping point can be locally and/or temporally reached: e.g. undersaturation with respect to aragonite is projected to occur in the deeper part of the central North Sea during summer. Impacts of climate change and of OA on primary and secondary production may have similar magnitude, compensating in some area and exacerbating in others.

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    Authors: Steinacher, M.; Joos, F.; Frölicher, T. L.; Bopp, L.; +8 Authors

    Changes in marine net primary productivity (PP) and export of particulate organic carbon (EP) are projected over the 21st century with four global coupled carbon cycle-climate models. These include representations of marine ecosystems and the carbon cycle of different structure and complexity. All four models show a decrease in global mean PP and EP between 2 and 20% by 2100 relative to preindustrial conditions, for the SRES A2 emission scenario. Two different regimes for productivity changes are consistently identified in all models. The first chain of mechanisms is dominant in the low- and mid-latitude ocean and in the North Atlantic: reduced input of macro-nutrients into the euphotic zone related to enhanced stratification, reduced mixed layer depth, and slowed circulation causes a decrease in macro-nutrient concentrations and in PP and EP. The second regime is projected for parts of the Southern Ocean: an alleviation of light and/or temperature limitation leads to an increase in PP and EP as productivity is fueled by a sustained nutrient input. A region of disagreement among the models is the Arctic, where three models project an increase in PP while one model projects a decrease. Projected changes in seasonal and interannual variability are modest in most regions. Regional model skill metrics are proposed to generate multi-model mean fields that show an improved skill in representing observation-based estimates compared to a simple multi-model average. Model results are compared to recent productivity projections with three different algorithms, usually applied to infer net primary production from satellite observations.

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    Authors: Turi, G.; Lachkar, Z.; Gruber, N.;

    We quantify the CO2 source/sink nature of the California Current System (CalCS) and determine the drivers and processes behind the mean and spatiotemporal variability of the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) in the surface ocean. To this end, we analyze eddy-resolving, climatological simulations of a coupled physical–biogeochemical oceanic model on the basis of the Regional Oceanic Modeling System (ROMS). In the annual mean, the entire CalCS within 800 km of the coast and from ∼33° N to 46° N is essentially neutral with regard to atmospheric CO2: the model simulates an integrated uptake flux of −0.9 ± 3.6 Tg C yr−1, corresponding to an average flux density of −0.05 ± 0.20 mol C m−2 yr−1. This near zero flux is a consequence of an almost complete regional compensation between (i) strong outgassing in the nearshore region (first 100 km) that brings waters with high concentrations of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) to the surface and (ii) and a weaker, but more widespread uptake flux in the offshore region due to an intense biological reduction of this DIC, driven by the nutrients that are upwelled together with the DIC. The air–sea CO2 fluxes vary substantially in time, both on seasonal and sub-seasonal timescales, largely driven by variations in surface ocean pCO2. Most of the variability in pCO2 is associated with the seasonal cycle, with the exception of the nearshore region, where sub-seasonal variations driven by mesoscale processes dominate. In the regions offshore of 100 km, changes in surface temperature are the main driver, while in the nearshore region, changes in surface temperature, as well as anomalies in DIC and alkalinity (Alk) owing to changes in circulation, biological productivity and air–sea CO2 fluxes dominate. The prevalence of eddy-driven variability in the nearshore 100 km leads to a complex spatiotemporal mosaic of surface ocean pCO2 and air–sea CO2 fluxes that require a substantial observational effort to determine the source/sink nature of this region reliably.

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    Authors: Friedrich, J.; Janssen, F.; Aleynik, D.; Bange, H. W.; +35 Authors

    In this paper we provide an overview of new knowledge on oxygen depletion (hypoxia) and related phenomena in aquatic systems resulting from the EU-FP7 project HYPOX ("In situ monitoring of oxygen depletion in hypoxic ecosystems of coastal and open seas, and landlocked water bodies", http://www.hypox.net). In view of the anticipated oxygen loss in aquatic systems due to eutrophication and climate change, HYPOX was set up to improve capacities to monitor hypoxia as well as to understand its causes and consequences. Temporal dynamics and spatial patterns of hypoxia were analyzed in field studies in various aquatic environments, including the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, Scottish and Scandinavian fjords, Ionian Sea lagoons and embayments, and Swiss lakes. Examples of episodic and rapid (hours) occurrences of hypoxia, as well as seasonal changes in bottom-water oxygenation in stratified systems, are discussed. Geologically driven hypoxia caused by gas seepage is demonstrated. Using novel technologies, temporal and spatial patterns of water-column oxygenation, from basin-scale seasonal patterns to meter-scale sub-micromolar oxygen distributions, were resolved. Existing multidecadal monitoring data were used to demonstrate the imprint of climate change and eutrophication on long-term oxygen distributions. Organic and inorganic proxies were used to extend investigations on past oxygen conditions to centennial and even longer timescales that cannot be resolved by monitoring. The effects of hypoxia on faunal communities and biogeochemical processes were also addressed in the project. An investigation of benthic fauna is presented as an example of hypoxia-devastated benthic communities that slowly recover upon a reduction in eutrophication in a system where naturally occurring hypoxia overlaps with anthropogenic hypoxia. Biogeochemical investigations reveal that oxygen intrusions have a strong effect on the microbially mediated redox cycling of elements. Observations and modeling studies of the sediments demonstrate the effect of seasonally changing oxygen conditions on benthic mineralization pathways and fluxes. Data quality and access are crucial in hypoxia research. Technical issues are therefore also addressed, including the availability of suitable sensor technology to resolve the gradual changes in bottom-water oxygen in marine systems that can be expected as a result of climate change. Using cabled observatories as examples, we show how the benefit of continuous oxygen monitoring can be maximized by adopting proper quality control. Finally, we discuss strategies for state-of-the-art data archiving and dissemination in compliance with global standards, and how ocean observations can contribute to global earth observation attempts.

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    Authors: Heinze, Christoph; Ilyina, Tatiana; Gehlen, Marion;

    Concentrations of dissolved 230Th in the ocean water column increase with depth due to scavenging and downward particle flux. Due to the 230Th scavenging process, any change in the calcium carbonate (CaCO3) fraction of the marine particle flux due to changes in biological CaCO3 hard-shell production as a consequence of progressing ocean acidification would be reflected in the dissolved 230Th activity. Our prognostic simulations with a biogeochemical ocean general circulation model using different scenarios for the reduction of CaCO3 production under ocean acidification and different greenhouse gas emission scenarios – the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 8.5 to 2.6 – reveal the potential for deep 230Th measurements to detect reduced CaCO3 production at the sea surface. The time of emergence of an acidification-induced signal on dissolved 230Th is of the same order of magnitude as for alkalinity measurements. Interannual and decadal variability in factors other than a reduction in CaCO3 hard-shell production may mask the ocean-acidification-induced signal in dissolved 230Th and make detection of the pure CaCO3-induced signal more difficult so that only really strong changes in marine CaCO3 export would be unambiguously identifiable soon. Nevertheless, the impacts of changes in CaCO3 export production on marine 230Th are stronger than those for changes in POC (particulate organic carbon) or clay fluxes.

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    Authors: Yara, Y.; Vogt, M.; Fujii, M.; Yamano, H.; +4 Authors

    Using results from four coupled global carbon cycle-climate models combined with in situ observations, we estimate the effects of future global warming and ocean acidification on potential habitats for tropical/subtropical and temperate coral communities in the seas around Japan. The suitability of coral habitats is classified on the basis of the currently observed regional ranges for temperature and saturation states with regard to aragonite (Ωarag). We find that, under the "business as usual" SRES A2 scenario, coral habitats are projected to expand northward by several hundred kilometers by the end of this century. At the same time, coral habitats are projected to become sandwiched between regions where the frequency of coral bleaching will increase, and regions where Ωarag will become too low to support sufficiently high calcification rates. As a result, the habitat suitable for tropical/subtropical corals around Japan may be reduced by half by the 2020s to 2030s, and is projected to disappear by the 2030s to 2040s. The habitat suitable for the temperate coral communities is also projected to decrease, although at a less pronounced rate, due to the higher tolerance of temperate corals for low Ωarag. Our study has two important caveats: first, it does not consider the potential adaptation of the coral communities, which would permit them to colonize habitats that are outside their current range. Second, it also does not consider whether or not coral communities can migrate quickly enough to actually occupy newly emerging habitats. As such, our results serve as a baseline for the assessment of the future evolution of coral habitats, but the consideration of important biological and ecological factors and feedbacks will be required to make more accurate projections.

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    Authors: Helmond, Niels A. G. M.; Robertson, Elizabeth K.; Conley, Daniel J.; Hermans, Martijn; +4 Authors

    Coastal systems can act as filters for anthropogenic nutrient input into marine environments. Here, we assess the processes controlling the removal of phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) for four sites in the eutrophic Stockholm archipelago. Bottom water concentrations of oxygen (O2) and P are inversely correlated. This is attributed to the seasonal release of P from iron-oxide-bound (Fe-oxide-bound) P in surface sediments and from degrading organic matter. The abundant presence of sulfide in the pore water and its high upward flux towards the sediment surface (∼4 to 8 mmol m−2 d−1), linked to prior deposition of organic-rich sediments in a low-O2 setting (“legacy of hypoxia”), hinder the formation of a larger Fe-oxide-bound P pool in winter. This is most pronounced at sites where water column mixing is naturally relatively low and where low bottom water O2 concentrations prevail in summer. Burial rates of P are high at all sites (0.03–0.3 mol m−2 yr−1), a combined result of high sedimentation rates (0.5 to 3.5 cm yr−1) and high sedimentary P at depth (∼30 to 50 µmol g−1). Sedimentary P is dominated by Fe-bound P and organic P at the sediment surface and by organic P, authigenic Ca-P and detrital P at depth. Apart from one site in the inner archipelago, where a vivianite-type Fe(II)-P mineral is likely present at depth, there is little evidence for sink switching of organic or Fe-oxide-bound P to authigenic P minerals. Denitrification is the major benthic nitrate-reducing process at all sites (0.09 to 1.7 mmol m−2 d−1) with rates decreasing seaward from the inner to outer archipelago. Our results explain how sediments in this eutrophic coastal system can remove P through burial at a relatively high rate, regardless of whether the bottom waters are oxic or (frequently) hypoxic. Our results suggest that benthic N processes undergo annual cycles of removal and recycling in response to hypoxic conditions. Further nutrient load reductions are expected to contribute to the recovery of the eutrophic Stockholm archipelago from hypoxia. Based on the dominant pathways of P and N removal identified in this study, it is expected that the sediments will continue to remove part of the P and N loads.

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    Authors: Naeher Sebastian; Geraga Maria; Papatheodorou George; Ferentinos George; +2 Authors

    The evolution of environmental changes during the last decades and the impact on the living biomass in the western part of Amvrakikos Gulf was investigated using abundances and species distributions of benthic foraminifera and lipid biomarker concentrations. These proxies indicated that the gulf has markedly changed due to eutrophication. Eutrophication has led to a higher productivity, a higher bacterial biomass, shifts towards opportunistic and tolerant benthic foraminifera species (e.g. Bulimina elongata, Nonionella turgida, Textularia agglutinans, Ammonia tepida) and a lower benthic species density. Close to the Preveza Strait (connection between the gulf and the Ionian Sea), the benthic assemblages were more diversified under more oxygenated conditions. Sea grass meadows largely contributed to the organic matter at this sampling site. The occurrence of isorenieratane, chlorobactane and lycopane supported by oxygen monitoring data indicated that anoxic (and partly euxinic) conditions prevailed seasonally throughout the western part of the gulf with more severe oxygen depletion towards the east. Increased surface water temperatures have led to a higher stratification, which reduced oxygen resupply to bottom waters. Altogether, these developments led to mass mortality events and ecosystem decline in Amvrakikos Gulf.

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    Authors: Artioli, Y.; Blackford, J. C.; Nondal, G.; Bellerby, R. G. J.; +4 Authors

    The increase in atmospheric CO2 is a dual threat to the marine environment: from one side it drives climate change, leading to modifications in water temperature, circulation patterns and stratification intensity; on the other side it causes a decrease in marine pH (ocean acidification, or OA) due to the increase in dissolved CO2. Assessing the combined impact of climate change and OA on marine ecosystems is a challenging task. The response of the ecosystem to a single driver can be highly variable and remains still uncertain; additionally the interaction between these can be either synergistic or antagonistic. In this work we use the coupled oceanographic–ecosystem model POLCOMS-ERSEM driven by climate forcing to study the interaction between climate change and OA. We focus in particular on carbonate chemistry, primary and secondary production. The model has been run in three different configurations in order to assess separately the impacts of climate change on net primary production and of OA on the carbonate chemistry, which have been strongly supported by scientific literature, from the impact of biological feedbacks of OA on the ecosystem, whose uncertainty still has to be well constrained. The global mean of the projected decrease of pH at the end of the century is about 0.27 pH units, but the model shows significant interaction among the drivers and high variability in the temporal and spatial response. As a result of this high variability, critical tipping point can be locally and/or temporally reached: e.g. undersaturation with respect to aragonite is projected to occur in the deeper part of the central North Sea during summer. Impacts of climate change and of OA on primary and secondary production may have similar magnitude, compensating in some area and exacerbating in others.

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      image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/ Biogeosciences (BG)arrow_drop_down
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